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A Walk in Her Shoes

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Would your colleagues treat you differently if you were a man? The thought has surely occurred to most of us at one time or another. But an incident reported in The Huffington Post reveals the realities of this fear.

A Philadelphia man got a “rude” and “dismissive” responsive from a client via email when that client assumed he was a woman, not a man.

Turns out Martin Schneider’s email signature was accidentally sent under co-worker Nicole Hallberg’s name. So as an experiment, the two switched signatures and came to a shocking-for-him, not-so-shocking for her revelation: Hallberg’s workweek was far easier than normal, while Schneider’s was abysmal. “I had one of the easiest weeks of my professional life,” Hallberg said.

Not true for the guy. “I was in hell,” Schneider said. “Everything I asked or suggested was questioned. Clients…were condescending.”

How would you handle this situation? And do you ever feel that it’s your reality? What’s the most effective way to push back?


  1. Marie Clerveaux

    Actually, I sure do know how it feels to be in that kind of situation so many times in my life because I did major in a male dominated field so I am always a trait to some men not all of them.

    I just quit my job after 16 months because of intimidation, harassment, bullying by some young men who do not understand what a network engineer do; therefore because of jealousy and envy, they behaved so unprofessionally; after 16 months, I had enough of the nonsense. Eventhough one of my team mates was a desktop support a much lower level than my network Admin position, on the first week on the job, I had to tell him about he cannot be condescending and be little me.

    I complained to management and not much was done about it. Later on three other young men joined him on the crusade against me and started bad mouth me behind my back by telling people that I don’t get alone with people.

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